The Lehi boys basketball team dealt 5A No. 1 Alta their first Region 8 loss of the season to draw into a tie for first place in the league standings and also posted victories on either side of that nail-biter in the past two weeks. The Pioneers are now 8-1 in region play and have a 15-5 overall record.
The Pioneers shot high percentages and had 10 players make significant contributions as they played the overmatched Timberwolves at their place. Lehi was up 16-4 at the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 30 by the half.
The Pioneers had 27 assists on 38 field goals, converted 63 percent of their shots overall and were 12-of-22 (54.5%) from long range. They outrebounded their hosts 31-18, made 18 steals and had just five turnovers.
Senior wing Tanner Cook led nine scorers with 16 points and senior forward Preston Varner added 15 with three rebounds. Sophomore forward Easton Hawkins netted 14 points with three steals while junior guard Cooper Lewis scored 13 with six boards, eight assists and seven steals.
Junior forward Grayson Brousseau had eight points and five rebounds, senior guard Braxton Hawkins contributed eight points with nine assists and three steals, and senior guard Spencer Anderson made all three of his shots and also had three boards and three steals.
“We really played well as a team and shared the ball great,” said Coach Quincy Lewis.
Jan. 31: Lehi 48, Alta 47
The Pioneers led for most of this contest against the only region opponent they have lost to this season.
They had a 43-33 advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but the Hawks then launched a 12-0 run to make it 45-43 with 4:07 left to play.
Lehi was missing shot after shot but defended so well that they also gave nothing up until the game was nearly over. With 36 seconds left, the Pioneers finally pulled even when Lewis drew a double-team driving into the paint and gave a bounce pass to Brousseau for the bucket that tied the game.
Alta retook the lead with 14 seconds remaining and Lehi took a strategic time out. With the clock ticking down, the ball went from Lewis to Anderson to Braxton and on to Brousseau, who pulled up and canned an open trey with five seconds to go to give his team a one-point advantage.
After that, the Pioneers made the path tough and the Hawks missed a shot they had to take to allow the home squad to close out the huge win before a packed house.
“We were up six in the fourth quarter at their place and didn’t finish,” Coach Lewis said. “This time, it wasn’t pretty, but we got it done. We made very good decisions in those final 14 seconds to get the shot we needed and keep them out of the hoop.
“It was great to have our students here,” the coach continued. “This was our best crowd of the year, and they made a difference.
“I’m proud of our guys,” he said. “The kids were battling injury and illness and pushed through it in a tough situation. In this part of the season, you just have to put your head down and keepgoing.”
Brousseau led the effort with 15 points, three rebounds and three steals. Lewis added 10 points, five boards, seven assists and three steals and each of them made a block. Cook had a perfect shooting night for 10 points and the team needed every one of their 9-of-9 made free throws.
Feb. 3: Lehi 58, Orem 44
The Tigers made an energetic start and got an early lead, though the Pioneers managed to close the gap to just three points by the end of the period. Lehi got the engine revved up on both ends of the court in the second quarter and took a 27-19 advantage to the locker room.
Lewis went to the bench early in the second with two fouls. After returning from the break, he scored 16 of his team’s 22 points in the third to push the Pioneers in front 49-31 and they went on to the victory, despite a sub-par team offensive performance after Tuesday’s draining win.
Lewis finished with 29 points including a perfect 10-of-10 at the line with five rebounds and a block. Brousseau added nine points with five boards and Cook had five rebounds as well.
“Orem came out and gave us their best shot in the first quarter and we weathered the storm,” Coach Lewis said. “We got into a little foul trouble and Bryson (Bromley) came in and did a nice job of managing the second quarter.
“Defensively we got better after the first and clamped down for the next couple of quarters,” the coach added. “I like that we had a lot of guys contribute as we played a number of differentlineups.”